Last year, the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce had the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska prepare a report on growth in Lincoln and its impacts on quality of life and fiscal conditions.
The report can be found here. Lots of good stuff inside.
Some excerpts from the Executive Summary:
Overall, the study finds that growth was accompanied by a number of benefits influencing both the standard of living and quality of life. These benefits should be considered in tandem with any costs of growth such as increased congestion and commuting times or any fiscal costs of growth.
Some of the main conclusions of the study are:
Average real earnings per job grew 14.0% in Lincoln from 1990 to 2002 versus 11.1% nationally. Employment growth in Lincoln contributed to this faster growth in real earnings, where real growth refers to growth in constant dollars, i.e., after adjusting for inflation. We estimate that job growth in Lincoln from 1990 to 2002 helped Lincoln metropolitan area workers increase average real wages $0.70 per hour. Employment growth also helped reduce poverty in Lincoln. We estimate that between 1,200 and 2,700 fewer persons were in poverty in Lincoln from 1990 to 2002 due to local job growth. Population growth increased retail options for Lincoln residents that helped Lincoln retain and attract more consumer spending and sales tax revenue per household. The City of Lincoln receives an estimated $1.1 million more in sales tax revenue each year from additional sales retained in Lincoln or increases in real per capita income. Incremental property tax revenues to the City of Lincoln due to the higher value of new housing units are similar to the costs of providing arterial streets, neighborhood parks and trails, and capital for police, fire, and library services to
new households. Incremental tax revenues may even be higher once the sales tax revenue generated during new home construction is taken into account. Similar findings might be expected for other taxing jurisdictions that receive funding from property tax revenues (such as Lancaster County or the Lincoln School District), though this study did not specifically examine these jurisdictions.